The Mental Capacity Act: small payments scheme – Law Society response

The proposals

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is seeking views on proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act.

These changes would make it easier to access small funds belonging to a person who lacks mental capacity and does not have a:

  • lasting power of attorney or
  • Court of Protection order

The proposal will only affect funds of £2,500 or less.

Our view

Broadly, we agree with the need for a small payments scheme.

The process of accessing funds on behalf of those who lack capacity is currently complicated and time-consuming.

Important safeguards must be in place so that the scheme cannot be taken advantage of by someone who does not have the vulnerable person’s best interests at heart.

We do not agree that the scheme should be run by a financial services firm, and instead suggest that the scheme be run by the Court of Protection, which has more appropriate expertise.

The limit to the amount of money accessed under the scheme should not be used as a reason to reduce security measures and safeguards.

Next steps

The consultation closed on 12 January 2022.

The MoJ believe that the CoP digital application process and raising awareness of the root cause of the problems mentioned by respondents to the consultation.

As a result, they have decided not to develop a small payments scheme.

Read the consultation on the Ministry of Justice website

Read the full response from the Ministry of Justice

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